Saturday, July 13, 2013

Frozen Lily Pads

Sensory fun to beat the summer heat! 
Baby Rex and Little Bear had an icy blast exploring these frozen lily pads. They were super easy to create from materials we had on hand. 
As Baby Rex is getting older I love that sensory play is an easy hands on way to introduce math skills, beginning science concepts, and build vocabulary
                   The set up:

I tinted water with green food coloring then poured it into muffin tins. I added small frog figures to some and foamy flowers to them all. Then into the freezer for an overnight chill. To remove I let the pans sit outside for a few minutes, the lily pads slid right out.

 Baby Rex and Little Bear inspecting the lily pads close up. Sensory play creates a wonderful opportunity to introduce new vocabulary and sounds. Cold, frozen, ice, and brrrrr were a few I introduced and repeated frequently while we played. 
 Hands in! Both boys found it funny that the ice was so slippery.
Baby Rex was having a having a hard time playing patiently for the ice to melt and release the frogs. Before his frustration level reached a boiling point, a toy hammer provided the perfect solution.

I found a whole bag of various frog species at a local thrift shop. I love that each was different, yet realistic. 


One of the most important and beneficial aspects of sensory play: the ability to explore with their whole body and multiple senses.

Baby Rex discovered that lily pads also make excellent (yet slippery) blocks. Sensory play at it's core is a child led activity. As I see him getting bored or frustrated I will often demonstrate a different way to use the same materials.

As the ice began to melt, I added a little bit of water and kitchen utensils for some splashing fun. 
The boys practiced scooping up frogs, flowers, and little bits of ice.

Overall this was a really easy and inexpensive activity to set up that created many opportunities for introducing or reinforcing language, math, fine motor skills, and early science concepts.

  • 1:1 correspondance
  • counting
  • sorting & color matching 
Expressive Language & Vocabulary-
  • Words: cold, frozen, ice, melt, green, frog, flower
  • Signs for: frog, flower, cold
  • Sounds: Brrrrr, smash, ribbit
Science Concepts-
  • Ice melts to water (properties of matter)
  • Cold/frozen
  • Frog habitats

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Alphabet Boxes

I am BEYOND excited to have completed this project! It has been a work in progress for many months while I slowly gathered together the materials.  

I picked up the boxes from Ikea in the children's department. A pretty good deal, $2.99 for a 3 pack. I used a sheet of scrap book letters to label each box on both sides.Over several trips to my favorite local thrift stores, I found quite a good assortment of items for each box. I'm sure our collections will continue to grow too. 

I have included letter shaped magnets & cookie cutters, mini books, flash cards, Little people & animal figures, real life object, small toys, etc. 


 So far we have been exploring the contents of each box one at a time. 
Working on beginning sounds, tracing the shape of each letter, and general focused exploration.
My favorite part of this project is that it will grow with my child for years of learning fun. 
Meeting him exactly where he is and pushing him to reach for more. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

GOOP Easter Eggs

Hands down, my most FAVORITE messy tub play to date!
I made several small batches of goop, each in a different color. 

You make goop by mixing cornstarch with water. I just add the water a bit at a time until it is the consistency I want. You can use food coloring, kool-aid, or frosting creations to color and scent your goop.

For our eggs I used regular food coloring and some gel dye as well. 

Filling the eggs was a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!

*Note* make sure your eggs do not have holes in them.

These eggs sealed quite tightly so no goop was able to leak out. 
Baby Rex was quite surprised to see what was in the eggs!

I used small, medium, and large size eggs. This added another mathematical dimension to our play as well as provided more opportunities to introduce and reinforce vocabulary words. 
(Small, medium, large, big, little, bigger than, larger than, smaller than, littler than, etc.)

 Each egg was one goop surprise after another. I think opening the eggs to see the goop drizzle out was his favorite part. Rex even started decorating himself! 

The colors mixed together


Baby Rex made a new game stacking the eggs into a tower.
Clever boy!

 After a while of playing all the colors mixed together to make PURPLE goop!
Goop is one of Rex's favorite sensory play materials, once all the eggs were open he was more than happy playing in a his big pile of goop.

What is this stuff??

Look at it. It's craaaaaazy!